Target: Philippine President Benigno Aquino III
Goal: Thank the Philippine president for signing a law that sentences any state agents involved in enforced disappearances to life in prison
President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines recently passed a law that sentenced any state agent involved in enforced disappearances to life in prison. This is landmark legislation because it is the first human rights law to be signed during Aquino’s three-year reign. Thank the president for signing this law, and for taking an important step toward establishing increased human rights legislation in the Philippines.
During the reign of Aquino’s predecessor, more than 200 political activists disappeared. Since Aquino took office three years ago, 12 people have disappeared. This new law aims to eliminate enforced disappearances and increase the political freedom of people in the Philippines.
The new law defines enforced disappearances as any deprivation of liberty and forced concealment of an individual. Additionally, Philippine officials are no longer allowed to list unconvicted individuals as enemies of the sate, subsequently making them vulnerable to abductions and assassinations. The law also stipulates that this term cannot be circumvented during wartime and that amnesty will not be granted to anyone who commits these acts during times of war.
While some advocacy groups claim that injustices are still committed under Aquino’s government, this law is an important step toward greater protection for human rights. Sign the petition below, and thank President Benigno Aquino III for criminalizing enforced disappearances.
Dear President Benigno Aquino III,
You recently signed a bill that made enforced disappearances punishable by life in prison. The same law stated that unconvicted individuals could not be listed as enemies of the state and therefore, left open for assassination and abduction. This law is the first piece of human rights legislation that you have signed.
I would like to thank you for making an effort toward greater civil liberties in the Philippines. It is a very important achievement, and I hope that similar laws are passed in the future. During your predecessor’s reign, there were over 200 enforced disappearances. That number has dropped significantly during your term as president, and hopefully this law will eliminate enforced disappearances altogether.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: #PACOM via Fotopedia